Pork to remain top choice for Japanese consumers

Demand to remain strong in 2024
calendar icon 17 October 2023
clock icon 1 minute read

Tokyo projects that pork will continue to be a main protein source for consumers in Japan in 2024, according to a recent US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report.

Japanese consumers are selecting pork and pork products as less expensive alternative animal protein sources. FAS/Tokyo assumes demand for pork will remain strong as this trend continues in the second half year of 2023 through 2024.

Japan retail pork consumption

Retail sales of pork and pork products from January until June in 2023 exceeded pre-COVID-19 levels (Figure 11). The majority of Japan’s total pork consumption is retail, and prices have risen along with beef. 

But pork demand has been less elastic than beef demand: Compared to 2019, pork consumption in 2022 and through the first 5 months of 2023 increased 7% in quantity, even though retail prices were higher by 12% in 2022 and 16% in 2023 (Figure 12).

After the lifting of COVID-19 related restrictions, increased opportunities to eat in restaurants or with office colleagues drove hotel and restaurant pork consumption back up to pre-COVID-19 levels. A rise in quick service food options that included pork further drove the recovery.

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